15 May 2015
The occupants of a plane that flipped while on the Tauranga Airport runway have walked away with slight headaches this afternoon. Emergency services were called to the airport at around 12.45pm after reports that the Cessna plane had overturned while taxiing on the runway. Tauranga Airport manager Ray Dumble says the two occupants weren't injured but are sure to have headaches after being flipped upside-down. According to Civil Aviation the Cessna 172M is registered to Sunair Aviation. Ray isn't sure where the plane was headed but believes their plans changed as strong gusts moved in across the city. “I think they were just going for a local flight,” he says. “I think they decided not to when that big squall came through and caught them unaware.” He says it took about an hour for airport staff and emergency services to right the plane and clear it from the runway. “It's a bit of a procedure because it was full of gas. It's a write-off so we didn't have to be too fussy with it.” Tauranga City Council communications advisor Marcel Currin says there were no disruptions to Air NZ services.
Photos of the Sundair Cessna 172 ZK-DKK can be found at http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/100139-plane-flips-on-tauranga-runway.html
Posted by Steve L at 4:05 PM